Giants Bow Out of First

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Yovani Gallardo struck out six in seven innings and the Milwaukee Brewers stymied San Francisco for the second straight night, knocking the Giants out of first place in the NL West with a 2-1 victory Saturday night.

    The Giants fell a half-game back of San Diego after the Padres won 8-4 at St. Louis. San Francisco dropped two games behind Atlanta in the NL wild-card race.

    The Giants had regained the top spot in the division with a 10-2 rout of the rival Dodgers on Thursday, but have managed only one run in two games since against the non-contending Brewers (69-78).

    Jonathan Lucroy hit a two-run single in the fourth inning that held up for Gallardo (13-7). The right-hander matched his career high for wins also done last year. Gallardo outpitched Tim Lincecum (14-10) and followed up Randy Wolf's three-hitter from a 3-0 win Friday.

    Giants manager Bruce Bochy pulled his ace after five innings and a season-low 72 pitches. San Francisco trailed 2-0 when Lincecum left.

    The two-time reigning NL Cy Young Award winner was visibly upset in the dugout when Nate Schierholtz was called upon to pinch hit in his place in the fifth. Mike Fontenot followed Schierholtz with an RBI groundout that inning.

    Lincecum recently got back on track. He rebounded from a career-worst five-start skid by winning his last three starts.

    With 7 2-3 innings Saturday, Lincecum would have become just the fifth pitcher in franchise history with three straight seasons with 200 strikeouts and 200 innings. He will have to wait until his next start to join Mickey Welch (1884-86), Amos Rusie (four seasons, 1890-1893) and Hall of Famers Christy Mathewson (1903-05) and Juan Marichal (four seasons, 1963-1966).

    Gallardo allowed one run on five hits and walked only one batter. He won his second straight start after he beat the Cubs last time out to end a five-start winless stretch. He was 0-2 with three no-decisions during that time. John Axford needed 21 pitches in the ninth to earn his 22nd save in 24 chances -- 11 of those to strike out Buster Posey. Axford extended his Brewers rookie record.

    Struggling Giants slugger Pablo Sandoval returned to the starting lineup against a right-handed starter after sitting the two previous games against lefties.

    Sandoval ended an 0-for-16 stretch with a bloop single to shallow left leading off the fifth. It was just his fourth hit in his last 39 at-bats -- and fourth of the month.

    Giants center fielder Andres Torres, recovering from an emergency appendectomy last Sunday in San Diego, could begin some physical activity in the coming days. Bochy said a "best-case scenario" could have Torres available to play again late next week.

    Playing Fontenot, Bochy used his fifth different leadoff hitter in six games since Torres went down.

    Notes: Edgar Renteria rested for the Giants after leading off the previous two games. He is nursing a tender elbow but Bochy expected him to play Sunday's series finale. ... Milwaukee manager Ken Macha would like to get RHP Mark Rogers, recalled last Friday from Double-A Huntsville, into a game in relief for an inning before he throws a bullpen session Tuesday in preparation to start against the Marlins next Friday. ... The teams wore Gigantes and Cerveceros jerseys as the Giants celebrated their sixth annual "Fiesta Gigantes." The Giants are 7-2 in their Gigantes uniforms, with their only other loss coming last season at Milwaukee's Miller Park. ... Top Giants draft pick Gary Brown, a speedy CF out of Cal State Fullerton chosen 24th overall in June's amateur draft, visited the ballpark and spent time on the field before the game playing meet and greet. He is headed to instructional league in Arizona in the coming days. ... The Giants drew 41,767 for their 25th sellout.